Digest of science news for the week that we didn’t write anything about

NASA’s Perseverance rover captured a small dust devil walking across Mars.

NASA’s Perseverance rover gave us a glimpse of a weather phenomenon that is very familiar to those who live in desert regions of the Earth. On August 30, 2023, Perseverance captured video of a small tornado swirling around the western rim of Jezero Crater on Mars.

According to experts, at that moment the small tornado was at a distance of about 2.5 miles (4 km) from Perseverance and was moving from east to west at a speed of about 12 miles per hour (19 km/h). Its width was about 60 m, and the height of the object was also determined, although its upper part was out of frame.

“We can’t see the top of the dust devil, but the shadow it casts allows us to judge its height,” stated Perseverance science team member Mark Lemmon is a planetary scientist at the Space Science Institute in Boulder, Colorado.

“Most of them are vertical columns,” Lemmon added. “If this small tornado had this configuration, its shadow would indicate that its height is about 2 km.”

Using one of its navigation cameras, Perseverance took 21 photographs of the small tornado. The mission team stitched these images together to create a new videowhich was accelerated 20 times.

Webb discovered a massive and compact quiet galaxy

Astronomers reported the discovery of a new galaxy using the James Webb Space Telescope as part of the COSMOS-Web survey. The new object, designated JWST-ER1, is a massive and compact galaxy in a state of rest. The results of the study are detailed in a paper published September 14 on the arXiv preprint server.

Massive galaxies that have stopped forming stars (the so-called massive quiet galaxies) are the likely progenitors of giant elliptical galaxies. Given that these objects form stars earlier and accumulate their stellar mass faster, they could be key to improving our understanding of galaxy evolution.

Now a group of astronomers led by Peter van Dokkum from Yale University reports about the discovery of a new galaxy of this type, designated JWST-ER1. The object was identified by Webb’s Near Infrared Camera (NIRCam) as part of an ongoing broad and deep survey of up to 1 million galaxies known as COSMOS-Web. One of the most notable features of JWST-ER1 is its so-called Einstein ring, a phenomenon in which light appears in a ring due to gravitational lensing.

Hubble sends an image of a brilliant red nebula

Just in time for the fall foliage season in this photo, received The glowing reddish region of the Westerhout 5 nebula, located about 7,000 light-years from Earth, was captured by the Hubble Space Telescope. Bathed in bright red light, this glowing image reveals a variety of interesting objects, including a free-floating evaporating gas globule (frEGG). In this image, frEGG is a small dark tadpole-shaped area in the upper left center corner. This floating bubble has two names – [KAG2008] globule 13 and J025838.6+604259.

frEGGs are a special class evaporating gas globules (EGG). Both FrEGG and EGG are denser regions of gas that do not photoevaporate as vigorously as the less dense gas surrounding them. Photoevaporation occurs when gas is ionized and dispersed by an intense source of radiation—usually young, hot stars that emit enormous amounts of ultraviolet light. EGGs were discovered relatively recently, in particular at the tops of the legendary Pillars of Creation, imaged by Hubble in 1995. frEGGs were classified even earlier and differ from EGGs in that they are detached and have a distinct head-and-tail shape. frEGG and EGG are of particular interest because their density makes it difficult for the intense ultraviolet radiation typical of regions rich in young stars to penetrate. Their relative opacity means that the gas inside them is protected from ionization and photoevaporation. Astronomers believe that this is important for the formation of protostars, and that many frEGGs and EGGs are the birthplace of new stars.

Dark Energy Camera captures multi-layered “onion” galaxy

On new The image taken by the Dark Energy Camera shows a “galactic bow” – a galaxy with many layers scattered over a distance of 150,000 light years. NGC 3923, about twice the size of the Milky Way, is very large, but an even larger cluster of galaxies nearby has so much mass that it warps spacetime, causing light from distant galaxies behind it to bend like a magnifying glass. a process called gravitational lensing.

The Dark Energy Camera is a ground-based instrument located on the 4-meter Víctor M. Blanco Telescope in Chile. It was originally created to observe many galaxies as part of the Dark Energy Survey project. It is currently used for other observations, such as imaging dwarf galaxies, merging galaxies, etc.

New calculations confirm that most of the Universe consists of dark energy

Galaxy cluster Abell 370

New dimension confirmedthat dark energy makes up almost 69% of the total mass of everything in the observable Universe.

The remaining 31% is made up of matter: both ordinary matter – the particles and forces that make up everything we see – and dark matter, responsible for effects that cannot currently be explained in any other way.

Cosmologists believe that only about 20% of all matter is made up of ordinary or “baryonic” matter, which includes stars, galaxies, atoms and life, explains astronomer Mohamed Abdullah of the National Research Institute of Astronomy and Geophysics in Egypt and Chiba University in Japan.

“About 80% is made up of dark matter, the mysterious nature of which is not yet known, but it may consist of some as-yet undiscovered subatomic particles.”

Dark energy, on the other hand, is more of a force. We don’t know what it is either. This is the name we give to what is driving the accelerating expansion of the Universe. Repeated measurements have shown that it makes up the majority of the mass-energy density of the Universe, with its amount typically hovering around 70%.

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